Much of the protesting on behalf of racial justice and an end to police brutalization of African Americans has been peaceful — police officers have even joined some of those solidarity protests. But D.C. and numerous other cities throughout the nation have experienced confrontational protests, with some of those protesters challenging the police by setting fires, committing vandalism and looting businesses. President Donald Trump tweeted Sunday urging police to be more forceful in dealing with those causing trouble.
The first widespread protests occurred in Minneapolis, the site of the Floyd killing, but have extended to cities throughout the nation, including New York City, Chicago, Philadelphia, Seattle and Los Angeles, recalling the wide-scale protests against the Vietnam War during the late 1960s and early 1970s. In all of those locations, some of the businesses looted or destroyed were owned or operated by minorities.
As has been the case in recent days, it was not entirely clear who is involved in the confrontations with the police, but members of the Trump administration have cast blame on antifa activists and other leftists, while some civil rights activists have said that members of the alt-right movement are behind some of the destruction.